At seven months pregnant I found myself clutching 'the list'. It contained everything we apparently needed to buy in advance of the baby arriving. This list was in fact the combination of not two but three lists I had received from various helpful mamas who had been there.

There were over sixty items on the list, yes you read correctly sixty. My first-time-parent-inner-voice assured me that we definitely needed all of these things or else we would, in fact, be doomed.

Looking back over a year later, there were some real must haves but also stuff we definitely didn't need from the start and then there are some things still in their boxes (snot sucker and gripe water I'm looking at you).

So here is our whittled down list of the essentials (link to downloadable checklist below);


  • 10 baby grows – we went with half 'up to 10lb' and half in '0-3 months', he was a big baba so that worked well for us
  • 10 vests/bodysuits – there are a lot of vest changes. A lot
  • Scratch mitts (these are often built into the sleeves of the baby grows so you may not need them)
  • Soft hat
  • Socks
  • Jacket for a summer baby or a snowsuit if you are having a winter baby


  • Moses basket/cot and mattress – we went for the Snuz pod co-sleeper cot, it attaches to the side of the bed and one side zips down so you don't have to get out of bed to lift baby out to feed.
  • Fitted sheets – these doubled up for using on the bassinet on the buggy which was handy
  • Changing mat/table
  • Baby monitor
  • Cellular blankets/Grobag – we used cellular blankets initially but, if we were to do it all again we would use a Grobag from the start. In our experience, the ones that button over the shoulder and zip along the side are way easier to get on than the ones that just zip up the middle.


  • Pram/Buggy – we went with Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle with notions that I might go running with the buggy. While that didn't happen it is still a great buggy, definitely not the smallest but handles very well, is good for tall parents and off roading. We bought a universal rain cover on Amazon which worked perfectly.
  • Car seat
  • Mirror for the car
  • Changing bag
  • Baby sling – we used the Close Caboo NCT soft carrier for when he was very small for napping in and then the Ergobaby for when he was bigger


  • Muslins/burp cloths – loads, you can never have enough

If you are planning on breastfeeding;

  • Lanolin based nipple cream - Bloom & Blossom Nip & Lip balm or Lanisoh are both really good
  • Multi-Mam Compresses
  • Breast pads
  • Nursing bra

Bottle or combined feeding;

  • Microwave steriliser
  • 3 Bottles and teats
  • Formula tub and some ready made ones for out and about
  • Bibs – similar to muslins, you can never have enough. We are big fans of Rain + Conker bibs, super soft organic cotton

Baby Kit

  • Nappies Size 1
  • Nappy sacks
  • Water Wipes
  • Cotton Wool pads
  • Vaseline
  • Thermometer
  • Baby nail clippers


  • Baby bath
  • Bath sponge
  • Bath towels with hoods - ok so not strictly an essential but they are so handy when they are teeny tiny to keep them warm straight out of the bath

Once you've got most of these sorted you are pretty much good to go, other things you can just pick up as and when you need them!

Download our What to buy before baby arrives – the essentials checklist to print out or save for later